What Is Wordle, and Why Is Everyone Playing It?

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Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf. Read more…
Have you noticed the trend of people posting grid-like emoji on Twitter with the hashtag #wordle? It’s the latest time-waster to have gone viral. Here’s what it’s all about and how you can play, too.
Wordle is a daily word game that invites you to try and guess a five-letter word in just six tries. It’s very simple to play along once you get the idea, and the fact that it’s a once-a-day thing means your enthusiasm for it will likely be drawn out over a matter of weeks or months, rather than a downloadable game where you can monster over a hundred levels in an afternoon.
The game works on both desktop and mobile browsers, with no need to download an app. Just head over to the Wordle website and check back each day for the latest iteration.
Wordle empty grid
At first, you’ll be presented with an empty grid, into which you type a word then hit enter. The letters will change to indicate whether any of the letters are in the right place (green), in the word but the wrong position (amber), or not in the word at all (gray).
A first guess in Wordle
So if your first guess is “FIRED” and the R turns green, the E turns yellow, and the rest of the letters turn gray, you can deduce that the final word has an R in the center position, has an E in it somewhere, but does not use F, I, or D. From here you can refine your guess, which you’ll type into the next row.
Everyone has a different approach to brain teasers, and there’s no single strategy that you can lean on. The game works best when it stokes your sense of deduction, forcing you to rack your brain for words that use a certain set of letters in specific positions.
That said, there are a few tips to take away. If you guess a letter and it goes green or amber, that letter may appear more than once in the puzzle so may be worth keeping in mind for future guesses. Don’t rule any letters out unless they turn grey.
A second guess in Wordle
Some players like to start with a new word each day, others stick to the same basic word that includes a lot of vowels and common letters (like ARISE or TEARS) to better refine future guesses.
The key takeaway is not to waste any of your chances by repeating letters that turn grey in previous guesses. You only get six chances, though you could always boot up a second browser or use incognito mode.
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When you complete a game of Wordle you’ll be invited to share, which is arguably how the game has become such a viral sensation. Click or tap “Share” and Wordle will copy your solution to the clipboard, which you can then paste into a Tweet (if you really want to) or whatever sharing method you prefer.
Share your Wordle solution
If you enjoy brain teasers and casual games you can play in your browser, you’ll probably love our roundup of hidden games and easter eggs you can find in Google Search.
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Digital Strategist Chris Hood

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